July 26, 2006

New Research Study: McLean Hospital's Search for Schizophrenia Genes

Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital have received a $3-million federal grant to look for genes linked to schizophrenia in individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and their families. The study is currently looking for volunteers and requires approximately 8-10 hours of participant's time as part of one or more visits to the Psychology Research Lab, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA where the research is being done. (Note: to learn more about the study, or to participate in it - call Anne Gibbs at 617-855-3586, or 1-800-695-9005 Ext. 3586 ). Researchers believe that several genes may play a role in schizophrenia. "There Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:31 PM | Comments (1)

Schizophrenia diagnosis gets help from the brain

UCSF researchers may have created a computerized diagnostic tool utilizing MRI based technology for determining whether someone has schizophrenia. "Raymond Deicken at the University of California at San Francisco and colleagues have been studying the amino acid N-acetyl aspartate (NAA). They found that levels of NAA in the thalamus region of the brain are lower in people with schizophrenia than in those without. To find out whether software could diagnose the condition from NAA levels, the team used a technique based on magnetic resonance imaging to measure NAA levels at a number of points within the thalamus of 18 people, Read More...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 12:22 PM | Comments (7)

Australia Launches Major Program for Teen Mental Health

On July 18th the Australian government launched a major new initiative targeting early identification and integrated treatment of mental health problems when they most frequently start - in teens and early adult years. In a press release that covered the new program the following information was conveyed: Mental health is the number one health issue affecting young people in Australia today, yet only one in four of these young people receive professional help. Approximately 14% of 12-17 year olds and 27% of 18-25 year olds experience mental health problems each year - that’s one million young Australians needing access to Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:11 AM | Comments (4)

July 25, 2006

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy use expanding in England

Dan pointed out this interesting article in The Guardian newspaper in the UK on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). A little more conversation It is hailed as a quick fix for depression, schizophrenia, ME - even infertility. Now the government sees it as the answer to Britain's widespread mental health problem. So what is cognitive behavioural therapy? And does it really work? Helen Pidd investigates ... Even CBT's greatest proponents admit readily that the treatment has its limits and caution against billing it as healthcare's great white hope. "There is the danger that CBT is being oversold as a cure-all. But Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:17 AM | Comments (1)

GABA Cells in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Schizophrenia community member DeeJayDee let us know about this good interview on the NARSAD web site. Its written for a medical professionals - but if you want to learn more about an area thats becoming increasingly important as an area of research and (it is hoped) treatment - read on. Interestingly, Dr. Benes identifies stem cell research as a key area for the future for better understanding of schizophrenia, and potential treatments: GABA Cells in Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder An Expert Interview With Dr. Francine M. Benes, M.D., Ph.D. Medscape: I've read that the 'Aha!' moment that defined the direction Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:04 AM | Comments (1)

July 24, 2006

Astra Zeneca submits New Drug Application for Sustained Release Seroquel

Schizophrenia.com member Rcourtade noted that on July 18th it was announced that AstraZeneca had submitted a New Drug Application (NDA) to the US Food and Drug Administration for a sustained release (SR) once-daily formulation of Seroquel for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. The clinical trials to support the US submission of Seroquel SRTM used a short titration period aimed at achieving a therapeutically effective dose by the second day of treatment. The Company also expects to make a Seroquel SRTM filing in the European Union towards the end of 2006. The SR formulation has patent protection to 2017. It Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:47 PM | Comments (7)

Young Adults at Schizophrenia Risk show Brain Activation Changes

In a new study published in Schizophrenia Research this month, it was suggested that functional MRI scans show show quantifiable changes in brain activation patterns amoung teens and young adults at genetic risk for schizophrenia. The research team stated that this finding "supports a physiological difference in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (see this image and this image for more information) in adolescents at genetic risk for schizophrenia, independent of psychosis." They also suggested that measurements of such a trait could be useful both as an early marker of schizophrenia, for use in prevention, and in clarifying the mechanisms underlying the Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:34 PM | Comments (6)

July 20, 2006

UK advocacy group urges Govt. to Educate Public about Mental Health risks of Cannabis / Marijuana

Rethink - the UK mental health advocacy group (equivalent to NAMI in the US) today strongly urged the UK Government to act on its promises of launching a long-term public health campaign to raise awareness of the link between cannabis and schizophrenia / mental illness. The call from Rethink comes six months, to the day after the Home Office decided against reclassification and pledged to launch a “massive campaign” to raise awareness of the link between cannabis and mental illness. As we've noted before, schizophrenia researchers have said they believe that between 8 and 13 percent of schizophrenia cases are Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:23 PM | Comments (5)

July 18, 2006

Ever-growing list of mental illnesses met by skepticism

Special thanks to Cannonier for pointing out this news story about the ever-growing list of what the APA (American Psychiatric Association) is calling a "mental illness". We can see the point of Dr. Torrey's opinion - that the more that relatively minor personality defects are classified as "mental illness" - the more the serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia are trivialized. When almost everyone is classified as mentally ill - it really suggests that nobody is (because most people don't consider themselves mentally ill). It also will tend to result in fewer resources being dedicated to the most serious disorders - Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:37 AM | Comments (17)

Psychiatrist shortage brings rise of teleconferencing

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
A shortage of psychiatrists in rural Texas is forcing mental health organizations to get innovative in their approach towards treatments. The Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas) had this to report on the new trend: With unsteady hands, Raymond arranged his medicine bottles on the table in front of him. Every few minutes, he nervously moved them around again, darting an occasional glance at the television across the table. A moment later, the face of Edinburg psychiatrist Dr. Ricardo Irizarry appeared on the television screen, and for the first time, Raymond talked with a doctor via teleconferencing. He told Irizarry about Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

Drugs Before Schizophrenia Diagnosis?

An excellent story in June's Time Magazine (Australian Edition) about early treatment of schizophrenia (via drugs, as well as other approaches). The story covers the research that is going on in this area - with a focus on Dr. Patrick McGorry - a leader in the field who is based in Australia. At schizophrenia.com, we believe that the potential benefits of this type of research are great - and we need to explore all avenues (drug and non-drug) for schizophrenia prevention. Moreover, we need to do this with a much higher level of investment than we have been. Experiments, by Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 11:13 AM | Comments (7)

Australian Study: Helping Children of the Mentally ill

A new study in Australia suggests that the children of parents with a mental illness are the forgotten victims - but something can be done about it. Its unfortunate that we don't have any national programs like this in the US - however NAMI does seem to be making an effort in this area - and has classes for families of mentally ill adults (contact your local NAMI office to see if they are available in your area). In this new study funded by beyondblue, VicHealth and the Victorian Department of Human Services it is recommended that services be boosted Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2006

Schizophrenia and Emotional Intelligence (Social Cognition)

Two months ago we had the opportunity to visit UCSF (University of California, San Francisco) Medical School - where one of our contributors (Demian Rose, MD, PHD) was giving his Senior talk which focused on schizophrenia. Specifically, the presentation was titled "Schizophrenia and Social Cognition" (Social Cognition, in layman terms, is very close to what is known as "emotional intelligence".) See the video below for a more complete definition. The talk was for the staff of the medical school (and other students) so it was presented with the assumption of a reasonably high level of medical education (so this video Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:30 PM | Comments (3)

July 12, 2006

Syd Barrett, Founder of Pink Floyd band, Sufferer of Schizophrenia, Passed Away this Week

Syd Barrett, a founding member of the band "Pink Floyd" and one of the most legendary rock stars to develop a mental illness - most likely schizophrenia (triggered, it is said, by significant drug use as well as the stress and pressure of his career), died Friday from complications related to diabetes. He had been living in a cottage in Cambridge, England, where he had lived a quiet life for the past three decades. He was 60 years old. While there has been some confusion in the public's mind about the mental illness Syd Barret suffered from, most of Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 09:55 AM | Comments (73)

July 11, 2006

Psychosis Among Siblings of Schizophrenia Patients

A Summary Review of Psychosis among "healthy" siblings of schizophrenia patients A recently published study of Finnish patients with schizophrenia and their families has confirmed previous study findings that the incidence of schizophrenia and psychotic disorders is much greater for siblings of people with schizophrenia than it is in the general population. 16% of the siblings were diagnosed with psychotic disorders compared to the control group in the general population with only 2% psychotic diagnoses. Contrary to other studies, the frequency of anxiety disorders (general anxiety disorder, social anxiety, PTSD, Phobias, etc) was also higher among siblings than the comparison Read More...
Posted by Dominique DeBold at 12:58 PM | Comments (1)

July 10, 2006

US Supreme Court Weakens Insanity Defence, Affirms Importance of Early Treatment for people with Schizophrenia

The following comes from the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC). The U.S. Supreme Court's released two decisions on the very last day of their session - on detainees being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, and on the insanity defense. The widespread focus on the former precluded much attention being paid to the latter. That was unfortunate, as TAC executive director Mary Zdanowicz explains, because the Supreme Court’s decision makes it clear that "we as a nation need to finally stop counting on the insanity defense to keep mentally ill people out of prison and start counting on Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:36 PM | Comments (2)

Studies Suggest New Brain Protein May Be Useful for Treating Schizophrenia, Insomnia, and Anxiety

Neuropeptide S (NPS) is a relatively new discovered protein in the brain that "promotes strong arousal, suppresses all phases of sleep and lessens anxiety in stressful or unfamiliar situations." Dr. Rainer K. Reinscheid, assistant professor at UC Irvine, presented his findings on an animal model of how Neuropeptide S (NPS) can reduce both biochemical and behavioral symptoms of schizophrenia at the 2006 International Congress of Neuroendocrinology. His study used rats treated with NPS and a control group, which were both given a drug that would produce/induce psychotic symptoms. The group treated with NPS prior to the psychotic inducing drug did Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:32 PM | Comments (4)

July 08, 2006

Improving Baby Mental Health - New Program for Parents

Neuroscience and psychological research during the past few decades has shown that with the right parenting, children can be made to be much more resilient to stress, and thereby lower the risk of mental health problems. In other words, mentally healthy babies and children are much more likely to grow up into mentally healthy adults. There is a new parent educational program that has been developed by some of the experts in child mental health with the goal of helping new parents become the best possible parents that they can be. This web site is more oriented towards trainers who Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:19 PM | Comments (1)

July 07, 2006

SAMHSA Issues Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery

Thank you to Dan (danweb) for posting this in the News Forum. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administrator) put out a press release last February with what they believe to be the 10 Fundamental Components of Recovery. After reviewing the Fundamentals below, you can clearly see they lack the ability to truly help the entire population with mental illness. In fact, the people with the most severe disorders are not properly accounted for. These fundamentals are based on the idea that all patients known they have a mental illness, and are consistently able to see they need help Read More...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 11:48 AM | Comments (1)

July 06, 2006

Metabolic Syndrome Risk Increases with Clozapine Use

What is Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolic syndrome "is a group of conditions that increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The conditions include high blood pressure, excess body fat around the waist, abnormal levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and insulin resistance. Any one of the conditions increases the risk of serious disease. In combination, the risk grows greater." Clozapine (Clozaril)is one of the most effective antipsychotic drugs used to treat schizophrenia, and physicians are expected to show an increase in prescription rates of the drug because of this. In April, the investigators reported that clozapine was significantly more effective Read More...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 05:26 PM | Comments (4)

July 03, 2006

Michael Mack's Hearing Voices (Speaking in Tongues) -- A Poetic Performance about Schizophrenia

Michael Mack is a man with a passion for creating good art, good theater, and good poetry -- and at the same time is educating people about the challenges of growing up with a mother suffering from schizophrenia. A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michael has for the past decade been delivering a monologue about his experiences. We encourage you to attend his performance if you are close to any of the city where he is touring. Michael is an inspiration for us all! We caught up with Michael a few months ago by email - below is our Read More...
Posted by Dominique DeBold at 04:37 AM | Comments (5)

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